July 21, 2013 at 9:28 am #93250
As you spend this weekend with family and friends, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.July 21, 2013 at 9:29 am #93251
Good Morning, EveryoneJuly 21, 2013 at 10:06 am #93253
…One morning shortly after the group’s departure, Mr. Isley awoke
humming a new melody. “I wrote the words while walking my daughter to
school, and we recorded it a day or two later. We offered ‘It’s Your
Thing’ to [producer] Jerry Wexler at Atlantic for Aretha Franklin, but
he turned us down. We would have taken $10,000 for it.”
So the Isleys revived T-Neck and released the recording themselves in 1969. The song reached No. 2 on the Hot 100—winning a Grammy and becoming their biggest hit to date. “When Jerry realized what he had passed up, he wanted to jump out his window. That song now earns around $1 million a year in publishing royalties alone.”July 21, 2013 at 10:07 am #93254
Senate Republicans May Allow Workers’ Rights to Disappear – Posted on July 10, 2013
If the Senate does not act quickly to approve President Barack Obama’s five bipartisan nominees to serve on the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB, a number of workplace protections taken for granted by union and nonunion workers alike could functionally disappear in August, leaving millions of workers vulnerable and with nowhere to turn.[....]
Workers talking about how much they get paid, meeting to discuss how unsafe their working conditions are, sharing information about their workload or salary with other employees on Facebook, or putting together a petition to oppose a pay cut will all be at risk. While many employees may take the right to engage in such activities for granted, without a functioning NLRB, little would stand
in the way of employers who wish to fire workers for exercising these rights.[....]July 21, 2013 at 10:10 am #93255
Mapping the Sequester’s Impact on Low-Income Housing
Greg Kaufmann on July 19, 2013 – 1:41 PM ET
In April, Doug Rice, senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, released a paper that described some of the ways people would be affected by sequestration cuts to local housing agency budgets, including: up to 140,000 fewer low-income families receiving rental assistance vouchers, higher rent for people who can’t afford it and a rise in homelessness.
“These kinds of cuts are really unprecedented,” said Rice, noting that this was just the third time in thirty-nine years that Congress failed to sufficiently fund housing agencies so that they could renew all current vouchers. “Here we are in 2013 looking at severe cuts in the number of families that receive assistance, even at a time when the number of families in need has been rising sharply.”
Rice said that most local housing agencies would likely “shelve” Section 8 rental assistance vouchers, meaning vouchers would no longer be reissued to families on waiting lists when current recipients leave the program. He said that many people receiving new vouchers would have them rescinded as they searched for apartments. Maintenance and inspection of units would be deferred, and affordable housing stock would be jeopardized.
Read more: Mapping the Sequester’s Impact on Low-Income Housing | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/blog/175363/mapping-sequesters-impact-low-income-housing#ixzz2ZgmxuxpB
Follow us: @thenation on Twitter | TheNationMagazine on FacebookJuly 21, 2013 at 10:12 am #93256
Should black organizations boycott Florida?
by Alexis Garrett Stodghill | July 19, 2013 at 1:29 PM
…Tourism is one of Florida’s largest revenue streams, rendering the
state politically vulnerable to a boycott. Total tourism spending in
2012 was almost $72 billion based on preliminary numbers from the
Florida Tourism Board.
Simultaneously, Florida is routinely chosen by black professional groups for networking and revelry.
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will start its
annual convention in Orlando on July 31, a mere 40 miles from the city
of Sanford, Florida, where Trayvon Martin was killed. The National Bar
Association (NBA), “the nation’s oldest and largest association of
African American lawyers and judges,” according to its site, will
commence its 88th annual convention on July 27 in the city of Miami
where Trayvon Martin once made his home.
…“I cancelled my hotel in Orlando for NABJ,” a New York City-based
journalist told theGrio. (She prefers to remain anonymous for
professional reasons.) ”Florida does not need my tourism dollars. Not
with all those crooked ‘laws,’” she continued, referring to Stand Your
Ground, and the concealed carry gun permit ordinance that empowered
Zimmerman (along with one in 17 Floridians) to be armed.
“NABJ should stand up and boycott as well,” she said. “They need to
do the event in New York City or L.A., where the actual hiring managers
and decision makers are. I don’t need passes to Disney World. Round
table discussions with actual hiring managers is what members need. We don’t need celebrity golf. We need justice and for the press (which we have little control in) to keep this story alive.July 21, 2013 at 10:50 am #93257
Nancy Giles: On when we assume
In this commentary “Sunday Morning” contributor Nancy Giles offers her take on when “reasonable” is used to define Stand Your Ground, Stop and Frisk, and our own anxiety:
When Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in Sanford, Fla., last year, my nephew Julius was living with me, and I worried about him all the time.
Julius is 23, bright, well-spoken, funny, never been in trouble, and wears a baseball cap and a hooded sweat shirt, like a lot of young people his age. He worked days and weekends, and when he went out at night to meet his friends, we had the regular drill:
Do you have your ID? Is your cell phone charged? Do you have one of my business cards? What’s with the pants? Is that sweatshirt warm enough?
He knew what I meant, and would shake his head and make some adjustments. And I’d watch him and blink — and see his little boy face singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in his sweet, little kid voice.
I was relieved that there were no “Stand Your Ground” laws in New York and New Jersey, but still worried that Julius might be stopped and frisked by the NYPD — not because he’d done anything, but because (according to the language of “Stop and Frisk”) he could be stopped if the police had a “reasonable suspicion” of . . . something.
A visible bulge in his pockets.
Something called “furtive movements.”
“Inappropriate attire off-season.” Hmm. He’s wearing long pants and it’s 90 degrees. Better stop and frisk.
How is that “reasonable?”July 21, 2013 at 10:53 am #93258
Walk-in clinics sprouting up to meet consumer needs
Affordable Care Act may fuel future growth
Jul. 20, 2013 10:06 PM
Dr. Biju Matthews, a Titusville-based cardiologist, believes the Affordable Care Act is going to create a new wave of medical consumers armed with something they haven’t had before — health insurance.
And many of those newly insured, Matthews said, are not going to have primary care physicians, nor are they going to want to go to a hospital emergency room for run-of-the-mill medical care, like cuts, colds or sore throats.
That’s why Matthews and his medical partner, Dr. Naresh Mody, opened Chiron Urgent Care earlier this month, next to their cardiology practice on North Washington Avenue in Titusville.
“It’s definitely a good service,” Matthews said, “and it’s already picked up within two or three weeks. We’re seeing a lot more than we expected in our initial pro forma.”
With just months to go before the individual mandates from the Affordable Care Act kick in, walk-in clinics like Chiron Urgent Care are seen as one of the medical niches with the potential for rapid growth.
Part of that is because of the health insurance opportunities offered by the Affordable Care Act, but also because some patients might decide to pay the tax penalty and not carry insurance but still seek medical care.
Either way, patients will be looking at walk-in clinics — where costs are lower and service quicker than traditional emergency rooms — for more of their medical care.
“We’re probably going to have to hire another doctor full time and expand,” said Laura Newell, operations manager at the Eau Gallie Walk-In Clinic in Melbourne. “We’re going to get slammed.”
Dr. David Williams, who started MedFast Urgent Care Centers in 2007, now has five walk-in facilities — the most recent opening in Rockledge last December. Williams concedes business could increase at the clinics due to the Affordable Care Act, but he maintains there are better reasons for MedFast’s growth.July 21, 2013 at 10:55 am #93259
Virginia GOP Nominee For Governor: I Still Believe Gay People Are ‘Soulless’ And ‘Self Destructive’
By Josh Israel on Jul 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm
In his first gubernatorial debate against Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinellii II (R) admitted Saturday that his extreme anti-LGBT views have not changed. While reaffirming his extreme earlier comments about what he termed “the personal challenge of homosexuality,” he suggested that he would create an economically positive environment that would help LGBT Virginians.
McAuliffe repeatedly attacked Cuccinelli throughout the Virginia Bar Association debate in Hot Springs, VA for his record of demonizing science, women’s health, and LGBT people. Twice, McAuliffe noted that Cuccinelli had called LGBT Virginians “soulless” and “self-destructive” and that his attempts to rescind non-discrimination protections have hurt Virginia’s business climate.
Cuccinelli consistently ignored the attacks until moderator Judy Woodruff asked him directly about his previous comments. Cuccinelli responded briefly, saying, “My personal beliefs about the personal challenges of homosexuality haven’t changed.” He then said that as governor he he would “create an environment” economically every Virginian has opportunity.July 21, 2013 at 10:56 am #93260
Why Tom Perez Matters
By Ian Millhiser on Jul 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm
Just a few minutes ago, the Senate confirmed Tom Perez, the top civil rights attorney in the Department of Justice, to be the next Secretary of Labor — an outcome that, until two days ago, appeared likely never to happen. Senate Republicans opposed Perez’s confirmation so strenuously that some of them did not even wait for President Obama to formally announce Perez’s nomination before they attacked him. The final vote to break their filibuster of Perez’s nomination was 60-40 — exactly the number of votes he needed to move forward. And this result probably never would have happened if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had not come within an inch of invoking the so-called “nuclear option” in order to force a deal that included Perez’s confirmation.
The fact that Perez emerged as Obama’s most controversial cabinet appointment reflects a very significant bias in our confirmation process. Secretary Perez has two Ivy League degrees, including a law degree with honors from Harvard Law School. The market salary for an attorney in private practice with an honors Harvard JD is $160,000 a year — and that’s in their very first year after graduation. Perez, as an experienced attorney with years of senior-level government service, obviously could command substantially more money. At any point in his career — from the day he graduated from Harvard through today — Perez could have left public service and chosen a career that would have made him very rich very quickly. He never once took this path.
Instead, Secretary Perez spent his entire career in public service — as a law clerk to a federal judge, as a prosecutor in the same Civil Rights Division he would go on to lead, as an adviser to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) on civil rights, and in various high-level civil rights and labor policy jobs at the state and federal level. When his law school classmates were plotting how to convert their six-figure associate salaries into seven-figure partnerships, Perez put white supremacists in prison.
It’s unlikely that conservatives opposed his nomination simply because he chose public service over wealth, however. What really drove this opposition was the way he conducted himself throughout his career. Secretary Perez pushed basic labor protections such as a minimum wage for domestic workers when he served on the Montgomery County City Council, an effort that ultimately succeeded after he left the council. He promised to “throw the book” at employers who withheld pay from immigrant workers. He saved a key prong of federal fair housing law from an attempt to neuter it in the Supreme Court, and he used that very aspect of the law to collect hundreds of millions of dollars from major banks that charged minority homeowners more than whites seeking a mortgage. He also reinvigorated the Civil Right’s Division’s historic commitment to protecting voting rights after the Bush Administration largely shunned that role. Indeed, Perez led the push against voter ID, a common method used by conservatives to shift the electorate rightward, in Texas and South Carolina.
At every one of these junctures, Secretary Perez could have been less aggressive. He could have decided to preserve his chances of surviving a future confirmation hearing by not taking actions that would enrage powerful conservatives. Instead, he rigorously enforced the law and fought hard to improve it — predictably making many enemies in the process. His confirmation today is proof that it is still possible to live your life the way Perez did, and still rise to the highest levels of government.July 21, 2013 at 10:59 am #93261
Two Tales Of Profiling, From The Highest Offices In The Land
by Gene Demby
July 19, 2013 7:20 PM
President Obama’s surprise remarks Friday afternoon about the Trayvon Martin case, racial profiling and race more broadly was almost certainly his most extensive remarks about the role race plays in American life — and the role it has played in his own — since his presidency began.
“You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son,” President Obama said Friday. “Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
For Obama, discussing race has been especially treacherous. When he weighed in on the case last year — “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” — his comments were viewed by many as an attempt to humanize Trayvon and empathize with his family, while many other people felt he was attempting to put his thumb on the scale in the case. (His comments came before George Zimmerman had been charged.)
But that’s perhaps what made in the White House briefing room so fascinating. “You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son,” he said. “Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
The president tried to contextualize the reaction that so many African-Americans had to the trial and the issue of racial profiling by talking about his own experiences.
There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.
And I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida. And it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear. The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws — everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.
Contrast that with his .
It’s not clear just yet what prompted the president to revisit the verdict, but his statements came just days after Attorney General Eric Holder sharply critiqued stand your ground self-defense laws like the ones in Florida. (Stand your ground wasn’t directly invoked in George Zimmerman’s trial, but it has been a major part of the discussion surrounding the trial.) In his comments, Holder got pretty personal as well.July 21, 2013 at 11:01 am #93262
Black Americans Welcome Obama’s Entry To Race Discussion
July 21, 2013 5:56 AM
As soon as he made his remarks on race Friday, President Obama was part of an intense conversation around the nation.
In dozens of cities across the country on Saturday, protesters held coordinated rallies and vigils over the not-guilty verdict in the shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Many African-Americans insist that understanding the context for black distress over the Zimmerman verdict is key to honest discussions about race.
In Washington, D.C., Djems Wolf Narcisse was visiting the Martin Luther King Memorial. He was not at the D.C. protest, but he does say that few white Americans can understand why black Americans don’t look at race the same way they do.
“You know we’re not looked upon as the people who fought for this country; we’re looked upon as the burden of this country,” he says.
White Americans, Narcisse says, probably didn’t get the president’s story of being followed while shopping because it isn’t part of their experience, as it is his.
“That’s what you gotta think about,” he says. “When you walk into a store, do they follow you around? Have you ever had that happen to you?”July 21, 2013 at 11:08 am #93263
President Obama’s Recent Race Speech Colors Purple, A Call for Truth and Reconciliation
Friday, July 19, 2013 | Posted by adept2u at 2:57 PM
There’s a scene from The Color Purple that immediately jumped in my mind after hearing President Obama’s most recent discussion on race. The family Suge Avery and her boyfriend are sitting around the table, and Mister insults Miss Celie just one time too often. She grabs a knife, curses him, and declares her independence.
It Isn’t Miss Celie I’m feeling right now, although President Obama played the role, I’m feeling Ms. Sophia.
Ms. Sophia had her face scared and her spirit broken from a completely unjust interaction with a racist criminal justice system. Remember it? The White lady wanted to pet her child, and she had the nerve to speak out against it, got attacked defended herself and was beaten down in the street.
That’s exactly how I and a great many Black people felt in the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial’s verdict.
President Obama spoke the kind of truth that Black America needed to hear to go forward, and for that I will forever treasure the two votes I cast for him.. Ms. Sophia was able to wake up from the slumber the abuse had placed her. She was able to be herself again.
I’d like to add a call for action.
We are currently in the midst of celebrating the life and times of the Madiba. I like President Obama came to political activism struggling against our nation’s support of South Africa. I would like to propose a tool the South African people used to great effect, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission except an American one.
The most appealing aspect of this idea to me is that of Truth. We would have stakeholders from say, not just Native peoples, but the issues of a Native person from the plains and from Alaska. We would have not just Asians, but Japanese to speak of internment, Chinese to speak of their experiences in America’s cities. We should have stake holders for everyone to write in an event where all of American history is discussed.
We can discuss the individual experience of every wave of immigration we have been blessed with and finally expose any painful myths laying underneath like how Italian people are seen as mafia dons, or just anything.
I’ve always felt that our reconstruction after the civil war was designed to reconcile Northern White people with their Southern brothers. I call on a reconciliation of the entire American family.
The soul searching the President called for in his speech will by our history uncover nasty things, but the only way to get forgiveness is to ask for it, even if it regards something you were not personally responsible for. The only way for anyone to grant forgiveness is to feel as if the offense is recognized and forgiveness is sought.
We can do this.July 21, 2013 at 11:10 am #93264
Imani ABL @AngryBlackLady13mJuly 21, 2013 at 11:19 am #93265
Detroit Sinks Deeper Into Hell As It Faces Right Wing Utopian Fantasies
By: Deborah Foster
Jul. 21st, 2013
This week, David Atkins and Lynn Parramore, writing at Alternet, each told the story of the downfall of Sears. Once an American institution with over a century of successfully providing goods and services to the nation, Sears has fallen into a state of business failure free fall. The company has been hemorrhaging customers, seeing its profits plummet, and its reputation nosedive. If there is anyone who deserves credit for the company’s demise, it is the Ayn-Rand loving, libertarian Eddie Lampert, recently ranked #2 on the Forbe’s list of America’s worst CEOs. Mr. Lampert’s decision to embrace the economic philosophy of Friedrich von Hayek, beloved among libertarian conservatives, means that he scorns investment in infrastructure, education, or the labor force. Instead, his concerns are always with austerity, budget reduction, and the bottom line. He believes in the free-market, corporate largesse, and greedy self-interest. These beliefs led him to implement an organization of his company whereby he broke it into over 30 smaller components and then basically told them that they needed to compete with each other in a cutthroat atmosphere to earn more profits. The result? Individual units within the corporation began undermining each other. Parramore notes, “Units competed for ad space in Sears’ circulars, and since the unit with the most money got the most ad space, one Mother’s Day circular ended up being released featuring a mini bike for boys on its cover.” Yes, that sounds like excellent business acumen; mini-bikes are famously popular gifts for mothers. Employees became disheartened to the point where Sears was ranked the 6th worst place to work in America by AOL Jobs.
Meanwhile, this week also brought news that the City of Detroit tried to file for bankruptcy under the direction of its state-appointed, anti-democratic “emergency manager,” only to be rebuffed by a judge’s ruling. How does Detroit’s situation relate to Sears’s sad demise? Both are facing the specter of Randian objectivism, free market fanaticism, dehumanization of ordinary people, and an abdication of corporate responsibility. As the workers at Sears have been forced into cutthroat competition, so too, have Detroit’s residents been asked to compete over insufficient and scant resources.
There is no question that Detroit has been struggling for decades. As a rust-belt city dependent on manufacturing, it has faced the same woes as many other cities in the region as our country’s manufacturing jobs were shipped overseas. However, the historical dependence of Detroit on the auto industry has meant that its well-being has been tethered to the whims and welfare of the American auto corporations. As the business infrastructure of the city aged, rather than investing in and developing new factories, these corporations opened up plants in other parts of Michigan, Ohio, Canada, etc. They left behind massive, abandoned factories that not only pepper the city with dangerous, broken-down eyesores, but also left the city with a dramatic loss of jobs. With little other choice remaining, residents of the city departed by the millions seeking employment. Many of those who remained were simply too poor to relocate. The city government was left with an ever-decreasing tax base to maintain its functioning, falling more and more into debt. Instead of taxing the remaining corporations and businesses within the city, Detroit was essentially blackmailed into giving them colossal tax breaks under threat of seeing the businesses pick up and move. The State of Michigan has also been withholding funds that it is supposed to give Detroit through revenue-sharing, restricting their access even further to necessary resources.
The commonalities between what is happening to Sears and what is happening to Detroit are that both are now being subjected to right wing ideology, Ayn Rand philosophy, and von Hayek’s austerity economics. The results for each are similar. People will unnecessarily suffer. Damage will eventually need to be undone. And people will have to learn the hard way what a failure these poisonous schools of thought really are.
According to reports, the emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, and his cohorts, wealthy businessmen and corporations, have big plans for Detroit. They can’t wait to implement their conservative fantasies of privatizing and cutting city services, busting unions, selling off public assets, and laying off public employees. The citizens of Detroit have already seen 20% of their city’s workforce cut by their Democratic, multi-millionaire mayor, David Bing. In a place that suffers from a severe lack of jobs (there is one job for every four residents), more layoffs is just what the community needs. Among the upcoming plans approved by Orr are service shut-offs to neighborhoods determined to be too poor or under-populated for private investment to be profitable. The city’s unsung assets, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Belle Isle Park, and even the animals at the Detroit Zoo, have all been appraised and are ready for sale to private interests. Public services ranging from transportation to garbage collection and water treatment will soon be privatized and in the hands of for-profit corporations.
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